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School libraries have specialized roles that differ from higher-level academic libraries and public libraries. For younger students, developing and nurturing an interest in reading is a crucial purpose of a school library. As students get older, teaching them how to use research materials and complete academic assignments gains in importance. The library must also serve as a repository for those research materials, with ease of use and access. An often overlooked capacity in school libraries is technology expertise. As the technology available for research constantly changes, librarians are there to help middle and high school students learn about new devices and get familiar with the tools they are likely to encounter in academic libraries in college.
This capacity carries beyond the students, as school libraries also function as learning centers for the whole school, providing teachers and administrators with the tools they need to do their jobs.
School libraries lag behind academic and public libraries in adoption of ebooks. Many school libraries are still in the earliest stages of adding ebook options for students. This year the 1,427 respondents to our survey have experienced modest expansion in that direction, even if the total percentage of school libraries carrying ebooks still falls well behind the more advanced stages of public and academic libraries.
It is also no secret that budget issues are a very large part of what is holding school libraries back—even more so than in other types of libraries. As this survey also found, other challenges and barriers abound.
Autor: Library Journal